Challenge to the Community: Eat Local!
Spring is a good time to devote our attention to local eating. Local foods are fresher and require less transportation and energy than food from the Lower ’48. By buying from local food producers, you help to build up our local food industry and help out the environment. So, it’s green on two levels – financially & environmentally.
Here’s a couple of videos to introduce you to the whole local food concept. The first local food video comes from a private citizen in Vermont. The second video, is from the USDA. Please take a moment to view them by clicking on the green underlined words.
We invite you to participate in our latest “Challenge to the Community”. For the 2010 food season, choose to participate in at least 1 of the following 5 options:
1. Read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Micheal Pollan.
If you are new to local food issues, this will give you a good overview of current trends in American food consumption & production. A very good read! You might even find a few partners to share the book with over the Summer.
2. If dining at a tasteful local restaurant, ask if they serve any local foods.
If local foods are available on the menu, order them. If not, ask why they don’t purchase from local producers. Support our local chefs in their endeaver to support our local growers!
3. Try to grow a vegetable or fruit you’ve never grown before.
It’s very rewarding to grow your own food and builds self-sustainability confidence. You can even grow food in a small container!
4. Introduce yourself to 1 local food producer.
Find out what products the local farmer, rancher, fisherman (etc.) produces, how their food is produced, and where to purchase their products. Please be respectful of their time, as they’ll be in the middle of their busy “Peak Season”.
5. Add 1 local food to your diet.
If you currently purchase lettuce that was grown in Washington, consider switching to a locally grown lettuce. (Same with carrots, broccoli, or another veggie.) Start measuring your food’s travel miles.
Note: If you decide to take this challenge, challenge yourself from your skill level and be safe. For safety reasons, please do not consume products that you have not educated yourself about or are unfamiliar with. Be aware that you are responsible for knowing about the laws and risks associated with the production, harvesting, and preparation of local foods. Remember that you are responsible for your own, your family’s, and your food guests’ food safety and consumption.
Most importantly, have fun with this challenge. You are invited to join us at an “Alaska Farms & Oceans Harvest Party Potluck” (still in the planning stages) in August or September.